Environment agencies cavalier, force courts to intervene: CJI

CJI Thakur said the Supreme Court would have had little role to play had the government agencies been doing their job properly.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 5, 2016 4:17 am
Chief Justice T S Thakur Chief Justice T S Thakur

WITH PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar sitting alongside on stage and listening to him, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur on Friday said the “indifferent” and “cavalier” attitude of environment protection agencies had been forcing the courts to intervene in environment-related cases to ensure enforcement of laws.

Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day event organised by the National Green Tribunal and the Environment Ministry, CJI Thakur said the Supreme Court would have had little role to play had the government agencies been doing their job properly.

“We cannot deny the fact that judicial orders are passed out of necessity to enforce the laws only because the primary system of governance fails to ensure an effective implementation. Judgments passed by the courts then compel the authorities to discharge their constitutional and statutory duties. More often than not, the Supreme Court has to step in to protect the environment because of the failure of the state machinery…,” Thakur said.

“…The Supreme Court has had to innovate mechanisms to safeguard the health of the people from toxic pollutants… this situational necessity would not have arisen if the enforcement of laws by state bodies was as effective as they should be. At the heart of the court’s role in environment-related cases lies an ineffective, indifferent or cavalier approach of those charged with the duty of enforcing the laws,” Thakur said, adding that this problem “arising out the lack of a diligent and honest implementation of laws and orders of the court” had been constantly pointed out but without much change.

Prime Minister Modi emphasised on the need for lifestyle changes and said many man-made laws would be rendered redundant if human beings learnt to live in harmony with nature.

“If we want to make a meaningful impact, we all need to look within before we start framing laws… The causes of environment (degeneration) is largely an effect of our consumptive lifestyle… I have always felt that anything that is not sustainable cannot be called development… Anything that compromises the ability of future generations to meet their requirements cannot be called development,” he said.

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  1. S
    S. Gowrishankar,
    Mar 5, 2016 at 8:46 am
    So, Mr. CJI, you want to perpetuate the job of the executive under the judiciary? Who are you to say that the agencies concerned are not doing their job? Do the people of India in their millions came to you and told you to do this? DO NOT MISUSE THE CONSUTIONAL PROTECTION GIVEN TO THE JUDGES. DO NOT REDUCE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA TO A JOKE. THANKS VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SILLY COMMENTS. THE PEOPLE OF INDIA DO NOT WELCOME YOUR USELESS COMMENTS. PLEASE WAIT FOR YOUR SUPER ANNUATION AND GET LOST.
    1. A.s. Malhotra
      Mar 5, 2016 at 4:39 am
      To maintain the environment neat and clean for betterment and promotion of health, it is not only the du of the state or central government agencies, but is the foremost duty of people belonging to all communities and cles to come forward with potental to encourage the activities which makes the environment clean through various means like due and proper cleaning, plantation of trees and disposal of wastage and garbage at suitable sites meant for it. Furthermore a user-friendly mechanism be devised between the citizens and environmental agencies by executive agencies so as environment can be kept away from pollutants especially in schools, health care centres and factories locations. Though legislation plays pivital role to awakened the concerned agencies for taking proper and prompt action in this regard. But the mushrooming of slums, juggies and unauthorised colonies and encroachments on public land encouraged by policitians for vote banks in the cities are also putting lot of adverse impact on orientation and environment of metro cities.CJI has shared her views very nicely that love to nature and abiding its laws are more important than man made laws for betterment of eenvironment on the globe.